No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here at University Congregational United Church of Christ. Young, old, sure of your path, or still searching --- we invite you to join us in imagining love and justice - as Jesus did - in acting to change the world.

Right now, during the pandemic, we are still united as church. Our service is streamed on YouTube and Facebook. You will find the links just below this section on our home page. New services are offered weekly at 10 am on Sundays, and are available on line after that.

We strive to walk in the path of Jesus, and to offer an authentic welcome to everyone who walks through our door. If you are new to us, we would love to get to know you and answer your questions about our church, even though we cannot greet you in person. A member of our Welcome Committee, or a pastor, would be happy to correspond on email or talk with you on the phone. Click here to arrange for a "meeting." 

Our worship service starts at 10 am and includes hymns, prayers, scripture reading and a sermon. It usually lasts about an hour. Right now we are worshiping online and will adjust this message once we are able to meet together in our sanctuary once again.  More information here.

Children are an important part of our community, and are welcome for all or part or the service.

UCUCC Parking Map

View for detailed Google Map.

Parking can be a challenge in the University District! Persistence, patience and an early start are keys to success.

UW has free parking on Sundays. Enter the main campus gate at NE 45th and 17th Ave NE and turn left past the toll booth. It's about a three-block walk to the church. The UW Meany Garage at 15th Ave. NE and NE 41st St. is a five-block walk.

The church also owns three parking lots - Lot A is across the street from the church on 16th Ave. E. Lot B is beneath Sortun Court, just north of the church on the east side of 16th Ave. E. (It closes at 2 p.m.) Lot C (for those with difficulty walking, young children and visitors) is at the corner of 15th NE and NE 45th St., next to the church.

If you need to be assured of a close parking spot, you can call the church office before noon on Friday to reserve one: 206-524-2322.

During this pandemic, we have discontinued our in-person lunches. We would love to meet with you via email or phone, however. Click here to arrange a meeting with a Welcome Committee Volunteer or pastor.

We can explore and explain a range of topics about our church, from history, to theology, to membership. Please contact us at the link above for more information.

We are an inter-generational church and strive to be family-friendly, with an active ministry for children and youth. All ages are welcome in worship. We also offer nursery and child-care, Younger children begin the service with us and usually leave after about 15 minutes. Older children have the option of leaving for a special sermon time. Junior high and high school youth meet at 9 am and then often sit together in worship. Give us a call at 206-524-2322 for more specifics.

Our programs for children and youth continue during this pandemic. Sign up at the bottom of the home page to receive our Children's Ministries and/or Youth Ministries newsletter.

Hearing Impaired: Our sanctuary has an induction loop system that uses the T-Coil mode of your hearing aids. You can get the necessary equipment just before entering the Sanctuary on the right or ask any usher.

Visually Impaired: We offer each Sunday's program in large print for easier readability.

Wheelchair Access: The front entry is wheelchair accessible as are the rest rooms. Please don't hesitate to ask for assistance.

My farm, last night

I was up again last night checking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website. They have a “Space Weather Prediction Center” that calculates possibilities for sightings of the Aurora Borealis. Seeing the Northern Lights is on my “bucket list,” and I know that every once in a while they appear in our skies. Last weekend just such an appearance was predicted. A rare combination of clear Pacific Northwest skies, a solar storm, and a waning crescent moon meant the Lights might be visible as far south as Washington.

I don’t know a lot about our planet’s auroras. I do know they appear in the Arctic and Antarctic. I read that they are caused by solar winds pushing out electronic particles that then enter our atmosphere. I really don’t understand it myself. Apparently the electronic particles are always entering our atmosphere, so the “atmospheric weather” that causes the auroras are always present. We just can’t see them unless it is dark enough and the skies are clear and they are entering just so.

Please don’t ask me to explain those last few sentences. I really don’t understand them myself. What I do know is that there are “apps” that predict the possibility of seeing the Lights. And that “possibility” is the operative word here. The appearance of the Lights is almost always a possibility, almost never a certainty. It reminds me of the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus as told by the author of the Gospel of John. “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8 NRSV)

Earlier in October when there was an “Aurora alert” I went out to Sandy Point at about 10 pm and watched for the Lights for about an hour. Then I headed home. The next day I learned the Lights didn’t come out until about 3 a.m., and when they did, they were spectacular. I slept through it all.

I didn’t see these in Anacortes, Thursday morning

So when the alert came out Halloween weekend I was determined not to miss anything. I got up at 3 am Saturday morning and went back to Sandy Point. I kept a lonely vigil until 5:00. Nothing.

All day Saturday I was groggy from my lack of sleep. My body has gotten used to a full eight and a half hours in the last twenty months. But Saturday night I headed back out to watch. And since I heard from my colleague Dave that he would be at Holmes Harbor, I went there to join him. My friend, colleague and housemate Meighan came too.

We met up at 6:00, with the prediction that the lights would come between 6:30 and 8:00. I was delighted to discover another friend there watching too. We had a fine take-out dinner from Freeland’s Rocket Taco. We watched the light fade across the water. We talked about the Lights and about all that was happening in our lives. We watched the stars appear and Meighan named the constellations and told us how she learned them as a child at her family cabin on a lake in eastern Washington. It was a very pleasant time.

But by 8:00 we still hadn’t seen the lights. By then the predictive model had changed. “Maybe around 4 a.m.”.

“The (solar) wind blows where it chooses.”

I went home to finish baking cookies for church the next day and to get some sleep. The predicted Lights never appeared. By Sunday night the clouds and rain had come, and the chance to see the Light show was gone.

I didn’t see these from Mukilteo Thursday morning. If you look closely, across the water, you can almost see my house, where I am in bed, asleep.

But last night when I put the sheep up the sky was clear. I could see stars. I checked the app and conditions looked right. Maybe?

Before heading out, I looked at the Facebook page of the “Washington Auroras” group I had just joined. I wanted to see what the experts said. That’s when I discovered the forecast I was looking at was for Thursday morning, not Thursday night. And briefly in the early hours of yesterday the skies had cleared. There were some spectacular photos on that FB page. But I had been asleep.

Sigh.

I will keep chasing the Lights, and some day I hope to see them. But this month’s adventures have reminded me again (why do I so easily forget?) that whether I see the Lights or not, there is beauty all around me. In a dark night sky. In a calm Salish Sea. In a good meal. In deep conversations with friends. In the awareness that Lights and the wind and the Spirit are not mine to control. But they are there.

Holmes Harbor, Saturday night